Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who has recovered fully from knee injury he suffered last month, has been recalled in the 15-man T20 squad for the three-match series against Australia beginning February 17 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The 33-year-old Malinga, who has appeared in 191 ODIs and 62 T20Is for Lanka, played his last match in the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh in February, 2016, and could not make his way back into the team because of various medical reasons.
If Malinga plays in the Melbourne T20 match, it will be his first competitive match - international or domestic - in more than a year.
Allrounders Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana and batsmen Dilshan Munaweera, Chamara Kapugedara have also been included in the national side after being dropped against South Africa.
Upul Tharanga, who is currently leading Sri Lanka in the ongoing ODIs against South Africa , will lead the team in absence of regular captain Angelo Mathews, who is unavailable for selection due to an injury.
Meanwhile, Dinesh Chandimal, who led Sri Lanka to a 2-1 win in the three-match T20 series against South Africa, has been left out of the squad against the Steve Smith-led side.
Chandimal’s omission seems to have come in the wake of his recent poor performances across formats against South Africa.
Although Sri Lanka won the T20I series under Chandimal’s leadership, he only contributed scores of 6 not out, 22 and 5, and made significant errors as wicketkeeper during the tour.
Squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratna, Dilshan Munaweera, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Sachith Pathirana, Chamara Kapugedara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya.